Tanisha Penn teaches eighth grade ELA at ReNEW Dolores T. Aaron Academy. “Ms. Penn has raised the bar and set high academic standards for our eighth grade scholars,” says her principal, John Gravier. “She is able to use her vast ELA and literacy experience and combine that with our Tier 1 ELA curriculum to help propel our students to the next level.”
Tanisha is thriving at DTA, and she was hired there through TeachNewOrleans.net.
It’s been one year since Teach New Orleans launched and started connecting educators like Tanisha with their schools.
In that time, it has become clear that TeachNewOrleans.net is the fastest way for teachers to share their resume with all New Orleans public schools. And for schools, it is the most efficient way to access many great teachers to hire.
It has not always been easy to navigate the hiring landscape in New Orleans’ decentralized education system. Unlike other districts, where a quick internet search takes you directly to the central office hiring page, New Orleans did not have a clear, universal way to link with all of our public schools. Teach New Orleans fixed this. Now, when searching “teaching in New Orleans,” you are taken directly to TeachNewOrleans.net before anywhere else. Educators, future educators, and schools are making the most of this free resource.
This year, 62,000 users visited TeachNewOrleans.net, and over 1,500 educators shared their resumes with New Orleans public schools through the site. This deep pool of candidates has allowed schools to be truly selective and find the teachers that are a good fit for their unique environment.
Today, 117 experienced educators who shared their resumes through TeachNewOrleans.net have been hired by a public school in New Orleans; over half of New Orleans public schools have hired a teacher whose resume they got through Teach New Orleans. The new hires had an average of five years of experience.
These educators included Robert Johnson, now an assistant principal at Sophie B. Wright Charter School. He told us, “I was becoming frustrated with all the different websites and avenues to becoming a teacher in New Orleans. I was certified and had several years of experience under my belt and could not get an interview. A friend of a friend told me to get in contact with Teach New Orleans. In a short period of time, they called and put me in contact with Ms. Sharon Clark. I am extremely happy to say that I am now Assistant Charter Director at Sophie B. Wright High School in New Orleans.”
Another educator who was hired after dropping her resume on TeachNewOrleans.net is Kwana Bryant, a teacher at Encore Academy. She said this about her hiring experience: “I received so many interviews after submitting my resume on the Teach New Orleans website. I am truly appreciative!”
Robert, Kwana, and over a hundred other educators found the public school that was right for them through Teach New Orleans. In the coming year, we plan for many more to join them.
In 2020, we will be making our website easier to use, and presenting schools with resumes in ways that are more efficient and usable for them.
We have set a goal of achieving a 35% increase in hires of special educators, math and science teachers, and teachers that work specifically with English Language Learners. We have a dedicated recruiter who is prioritizing candidates who specialize in these content areas.
Teach New Orleans also allows for more targeted citywide support, often in concert with NSNO’s other initiatives. Over the course of Teach New Orleans’ first year, for instance, we noticed that schools were making most of their hiring decisions in the late spring and summer. National data show that the odds of getting a strong teacher increase the earlier an offer is made, so hiring in the fall and winter is more strategic than hiring later in the school year. NSNO is already working with hiring managers at schools and charter networks to share best practices in recruitment and retention. Because of what we have seen through Teach New Orleans, those conversations will include the importance of hiring early on.
Our schools and students need the very best teachers. We are excited that Teach New Orleans will continue to help make that a reality.